The Religious Affairs Minister of Indonesia, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, renewed his earlier announcement that he would personally invite Pope Francis to visit the country.
A Radio Veritas Asia report said the minister made the new announcement during a meeting with Archbishop Pietro Pioppo, papal nuncio to Indonesia, and Bishop Sennon Neutra of Ambon on April 23.
In March, Qoumas said the Muslim country is inviting Pope Francis for a visit to join in the celebration of “religious tolerance.”
“I would love to see Pope Francis in Indonesia to get first-hand experience about the beauty of diversity here and greet Indonesian Catholic followers in person,” he said in a March 7 statement.
Qoumas said he would inform Pope Francis “about the intention to construct a new cathedral in the archipelago’s capital in Kalimantan.”
He also said that the Ministry of Religious Affairs has proposed to rethink the two national and Christian religious festivals commemorating the “Day of Ascension” and Easter and the title “Jesus Christ” will be legally translated as “Christ.”
Qoumas said the move is a response to the Indonesian Christian community’s request.
The Holy See earlier announced that Pope Francis will visit Indonesia and East Timor in September 2020. However, the trip was canceled as a result of the pandemic.
Muslims make up more than 80 percent of the Indonesian population while it is estimated that there are 23.5 million Christians living in the Southeast Asian country.